For the past 2 months we’ve been busy refurbishing all the swims here at Oakwood Fisheries. I can thankfully say that all this work is finally complete and ready for the new season – 2 days before our first guests were due!
All the swims have had the full treatment including new wooden fronts, fully boarded and bark chipped for a professional look.
First of all we began by selecting large straight trees to cut down for the new fronts. We felled 4 large ash tree and lengths of up to 7 meters were cut for the fronts. The next job was to get the cut lengths into the water so they could be towed by boat down the lake to their designated swim. This was no mean feat as they were extremely heavy!
Next we dug the tree trunks into the front of all the swims and staked them in position. We then had a visit from my friend with his mini digger and he scraped away a 4m x 4m area 15cm deep which was then boarded with planks, levelled and finally filled with bark chips from the local saw mill.
It was a lot of back breaking work but in my eyes definitely worth the effort.
Fishing France at OakwoodTags: Dan's Blog
Now that’s a lot of lillies!
Moving into the autumn months we began work to the final area of the lake that had been left un-touched until now. It had become a vast network of lily roots and weed beds during the last 100 years, so we had our work cut out!
The weed beds cannot be tackled until the lily pads roots are first removed as the weed rake cannot be pulled through the rhizome roots. We were lucky with the weather as it had remained nice and sunny and the water was warm. Wet suits and waders were donned and we began to remove the lily roots.
This is done by physically pulling the root off the bottom of the lake and where the weed was so thick in places just getting down to the bottom was exhausting enough as you have to fight your way through it. Then as you come back to the surface with your root you emerge as a weed monster!
All good fun and definitely worth the reward, the difference the work has made to the lake. In all we removed 6 tipper trucks stacked high with lily roots which took us a week.
The week after we started the weeding work. I was in two minds whether to do this job or not as the weed would shortly be dying back but from past experience I know that when I come to do the job next year in 2012 I will be at lot easier and less thick. So it was done!
The lake now looked fantastic so we decided we wanted to open more of the bankside up which was also quite overgrown in this area. All the nettles, brambles shrubs and trees were cut down and cleared and replaced with new flower beds and water plants which I hope will flourish next year.
I think in all we spent 3 weeks on this project but what a difference!
Tags: Dan's Blog
All the anglers have now left for the season and it’s time to start making improvements around the place.
We have already been busy creating new paths and path widening through the woodland. A real advantage for any fishery owner is the use of a mini digger. If I could rewind time back to 4 years ago when we started work on the fishery this would have been the first thing I purchased!
On top of this in the New Year all of the swims are going to get a makeover. We are going to wooden front the swims and lay woodchip areas to accommodate angler’s bivvy’s and tackle to prevent the swims from getting muddy and to stop splash back on the angler’s rods and reels during heavy rain. Knowing what most carp anglers are like with their beloved tackle I’m sure this will be a welcome addition to the site. I do hate bits of grit and mud getting in my own reels during prolonged heavy rain!
We are also into the winter feeding program now… hopefully we will see the same weight gains we achieved last year with 3 new forties hitting the banks. We will again be treating the water again in the spring with Siltex – a vital part of good fishery management.
I would like to thank all our guests in 2011 and wish everyone tight lines in 2012.
DanTags: Dan's Blog
I have just finished making a large table to seat our diners here at Oakwood fisheries.
The old pub style table we had been using previously was aging fast and also a bit small to accommodate 4 anglers, as the food package has become very popular with our guests as news has has spread of my better half’s cooking talent!!
It was time to visit the wood yard and assemble the tools as I set about constructing a new table.
A day passed and the table was built. It was then placed in position and the next day was spent sanding and applying wood preservative.
I think it looks great in its new position next to the cabin giving great views of the lake as you enjoy your dinner.
Bon appetit!Tags: Dan's Blog